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Just as spring brings warmer weather, so does it mean that credit card companies bring out new bonus offers for their rewards cards.

Some rewards cards, such as Chase Freedom, Discover and Citi Dividend, don't just offer cash back on purchases, but they also have special quarterly offers for different retail categories that help cardholders save even more money on commonly made purchases. (Details on these offers may be found at the bottom of this page)

With April and the official start of the second quarter underway, it's time for cardholders to get a handle on the new bonus categories available to them through their rewards cards.

This quarter, Chase is offering five percent cash back on grocery store and movie theater purchases. This five percent includes the standard one percent bonus that cardholders earn on every purchase made with the card. Cardholders must activate their card to get the offer, and they can earn up to $1,500 during the quarter.

To activate a card for this quarter, the cardholder needs to register it before June 14, 2012 by going online to the Chase Freedom Web site, by calling the phone number listed on the back of the credit card or by visiting a Chase bank and signing up through a personal banker. Even if the card is activated in June, all applicable purchases made during the quarter will earn the extra reward dollars.

Chase offers several different ways to help its cardholders activate their cards. Cardholders may register at the Web site to receive text messages or e-mail alerts, or they may like Chase Freedom on Facebook.

Upcoming quarterly categories include gas stations and restaurants for the third quarter. For the fourth quarter, hotel, airline, Best Buy and Kohl's purchases are eligible for the bonus rewards.

Citibank also offers a five percent cashback bonus that's structured similarly to Chase's in that the cardholder earns the standard one percent cash back, plus a four percent bonus, if the card is registered through your account either online or by calling customer service.

This quarter, Citi is helping cardholders get their yards and homes in shape. The cashback bonus categories are home furnishing and home and garden purchases, as well as those made at Home Depot. The retailers in each of these categories must primarily sell in those categories or identify as being merchants in those categories. Purchases made at warehouse, department or electronics stores do not qualify.

Cardholders can start earning rewards once they're enrolled in the program, and they can earn a maximum of $300 in cash back during the year, unless Citi has special offers that specify otherwise.

Discover cardholders can take advantage of its five percent cashback bonus on restaurant and movie purchases this quarter and can earn up to $1,500 for the quarter. Additionally, Discover is offering a five percent cashback bonus up to $300 for grocery purchases made from May 1 through May 31.

"With our award-winning Cashback Bonus program, we continue to offer meaningful, relevant opportunities for cardmembers to put more money in their pockets," said Dana Traci, vice president of rewards at Discover, in a statement. "We know our cardmembers regularly use their cards at restaurants, movies and grocery stores and we're focused on giving back to them in those categories. This relevancy, coupled with valuable rewards and best-in-class customer experiences, helps us to maintain a leadership position in cash rewards."

Cardholders should register for each individual offer in order to be eligible to earn them. They can do so through their online account, by calling 1-800-DISCOVER, or through Discover's new free iPad app.

In the third quarter of this year, Discover will offer the bonus on gas and summer fun purchases, which include movies and theme parks. In the fourth quarter it will highlight holiday shopping purchases at department, electronics and toy stores, as well as on movies.